120 trucks just seems a bit much.

8 Apr

The Claw!

That’s a scan from the recent issue of Rolling Stone about U2’s new set, dubbed “The Claw.”

See that sucker? You can read more in the photo, but here are the highlights:
It’s 164 feet tall.
There’s a 360 degree screen.
It’s the largest stadium stage set ever, even beating out the Rolling Stones’ “A Bigger Bang” tour set.
And, to top it off, it will take 120 trucks to haul “The Claw” from show to show.

Rolling Stone doesn’t elaborate, but I’d bet my bottom dollar that they mean 120 18-wheelers. One hundred and twenty. Let me repeat: One-twenty. Did you hear me? One hundred, and then twenty more.

Can I get a WTF?

It’s always been my opinion that the better a band is, the less of a stage it needs – admittedly, U2 doesn’t have much of an actual stage there beneath the hugeness of “The Claw.” But I don’t think U2 needs all of the machinery that is “The Claw.” Seriously, if U2 is the best band in the world, as so many folks say, why in the world do they need a 164-foot contraption over their heads? Why do they need 360-degree video screens? Shouldn’t their amazing ability to perform music live be enough?

I’m all for a band putting on a good rock show, but this doesn’t sound like it’s really putting on a show – it just sounds like this Claw thing is just there.

I must give the band kudos in that at least they’re not passing on the high price of that monstrosity on to the fans. I hear tickets are as low as $30. I have a feeling Bono will look like an ant from seats at that price, but at least you can say you “saw” him.

Still – 120 trucks? Really?

13 Responses to “120 trucks just seems a bit much.”

  1. Todd April 13, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    I’m with you on this one. I would love to see U2 but I think this show is more about the props and less about the music. To put 120 trucks into perspective, here are a couple of recent shows that have played the arena and how many trucks were used:

    Carrie Underwood – 6
    Sugarland – 4
    Cheetah Girls – 8
    Reba/Kelly Clarkson – 6
    Kid Rock – 5

    I’m not saying you don’t need more production to fill an 80,000 seat stadium versus a 10,000 seat arena, but come on…

    • sheenabarnett April 13, 2009 at 11:21 am #

      Wow, Todd, that’s a good point. I always wondered what other folks bring to their shows. 120 trucks just blows my mind. I don’t see the need for that at all.

  2. Jeff Clark April 15, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    U2 have been taking bloated, over-the-top shows out on the road for more than a decade.

    The older I get, the more I think rock shows are a dying thing — no offense to Todd and the great work he does. Other than wanting to see the Allmans at The Beacon, I just don’t care for the “big live” thing anymore.

    Huge productions and scalpers are taking away the live show from the middle class and that sucks!

    Bonneroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza and even SXSW (Kanye?! Really?!) are also contributing to the problem.

  3. Todd April 22, 2009 at 9:03 am #


    I’m doing my best to keep the concert scene alive but you make a valid point. I am very much a traditionalist when it comes to shows that I like. Give me great musicians with great songs on a simple stage and I’m happy.

    That being said, I know that my opinion is not shared by everyone. Nickelback and Rascal Flatts are examples of bands who put on quite a show with lots of cool effects (video, pyro, etc). The bottom line is entertainment.

    And I’m with you on the Allmans at the Beacon. Should we make plans for 2010?

  4. Trey May 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    I agree with everyone, 120 is too much when this band is trying to teach people not to poison the earth and saving the planet.

    I just saw Metallica’s arena tour and they have a big stage but not even this big and they only need 15 trucks because the stage takes up an entire arena floor, no big video screens just a wide open stage, usual lights, and a ton of pyro.

    I am going to see U2 in Atlanta but this should be interesting on how some seats have blocked views..

  5. Andy June 30, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    Someone said back in the 80’s, “You’re only as good as your fog machine.” I don’t think the Rolling Stones even have a fog machine. They must really be bad. I bet U2 has at least 1 fog machine in those 120 trucks.
    I would hate to know how much GAS 120 use during this tour….not very green.

  6. Dre July 29, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    Wait a minute thats 120 trucks for steel alone. Don’t forget light rig, sound rig, production, and all the other items that need to roll with. Oh lets wonder how many buses ?

  7. Phil July 31, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    U2 is one of the best live acts you’ll ever see. They put up a stage like that because they can, not because the need too. before you blast them, realize they are doing something right, they sell out just about every show. Just be glad you have the option to see a band tour with something this massive….because there aren’t many bands that can in the present and probably even less in the future.

  8. dan August 7, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    A wiser man than myself once said, the more trucks a band has, the more the band sucks. This just proves the theory.

  9. Schaphra August 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Folks, you have to seen this in live.
    It is the coolest thing I’ve seen.

    If you dont like it because you believe that real rock band should play in clubs – no sweat also.

    Just go near the stage as possible. Possible to the fans pit.

    In both cases you will have INCREDIBLE sound and vision.

    For the first time you can actually enjoy in vision even if you 500 feets from stage. (At least me).

    I’ve been in both places on their last show, for two days in row.
    That is my two cents.

    And yes, I would write same thing – five days ago.

    U2 – respect.

  10. Guest September 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

    Isn’t the theory behind this that more people will be able to enjoy the show? With no huge backdrop taking up space and the ability for there to be 360 degree viewing, the only ground space taken up is the stage surface itself and the “legs” of the claw. This would allow more people to see the show with greater visibility. Have you ever been to a show and sat 90 degrees to the stage? no fun, the claw eliminates that problem EVERY seat is a good seat with good sound and good visibility…. not to mention that there are more of them.

    Sure helps for business too, more people = more money. Plus I’m sure some people would go just to see the spectacle that the show has become.

  11. gusjusgus September 18, 2009 at 8:59 pm #

    Okay enuf already about what it takes for logistics of this bands equipment. I saw the production in Toronto .. and it was worth every bit of fossil fuel it used . I mean hell don’t let those dinosaurs die for nothing already….

  12. sauer kraut September 22, 2009 at 9:05 am #

    fossil fuel is from plants, not dinosaurs.

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